The Blue Bridge: Remembering a Victoria Landmark

Opened in 1924, the Johnson Street Bridge, otherwise known as the “Blue Bridge,” captured the hearts of Victoria residents for decades.

The Blue Bridge in Victoria, British ColumbiaPhoto: Anne Jarvis

Farewell, Blue Bridge

Sadly, a famous and distinctive landmark here in Victoria is gone forever. The Johnson Street Bridge, or “Blue Bridge” as it was known, was a historic landmark in the minds of many residents and tourists alike.

When anyone asked for directions about how to get downtown into Old Town or even to the Inner Harbour, you would mention the Blue Bridge as a landmark that could be seen from a great distance.

The bridge was originally completed at a cost of about $918,000 and opened back in 1924. The Blue Bridge received its name when the city decided to use a blue oxide paint, which matched the pigment of the bridge so any fading colour would be less noticeable. The same blue paint was used to paint all the lamp standards throughout the city.

On August 12, 2010, Victoria city councillors voted to replace the Blue Bridge rather than refurbish it. The construction of a bascule bridge (movable bridge) beside the Blue Bridge began in 2013, and opened to the public on March 31, 2018.

The new bridge does afford a three-lane roadway, a pedestrian walkway on the south side, a multi-use pathway on the north side and special lighting to enhance the bridge without disturbing any of the sea animals—all good things.

But to those of us who were born and raised here, it feels as though a part of our heritage is gone and, sadly, can never be replaced.

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Originally Published in Our Canada